Netflix is not the only bidder for Regency Outdoor and the acquisition talks may fall through, according to the Reuters report, which cited anonymous sources.
A Netflix rep said in an email, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.” Regency Outdoor did not respond to requests for comment.
Among the billboard campaigns the streaming company has staged were plain white signs with black text that said “Netflix Is a Joke” that popped up last September on billboards from Regency and other outdoor advertisers. Two weeks later, it revealed the cryptic ads were promoting Netflix’s lineup of stand-up comedy specials from comics including Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Ellen DeGeneres.
Regency Outdoor Advertising, founded in 1973, is based in West Hollywood. The company offers billboards, displays, and “wallscapes” across the L.A. Basin and Orange County. Privately held Regency is owned by two brothers, Drake and Brian Kennedy.
On its website, Regency Outdoor says its billboards are “at LAX, on all major freeways, along the famous Sunset Strip, near the UCLA campus in Westwood Village, and in sight of Edison Field in Orange County,” which is the home of MLB’s L.A. Angels in Anaheim.
In January, Netflix told investors that it plans to increase marketing spending this year more than 50%, from $1.3 billion last year to $2 billion this year.
“We used to think every incremental dollar was best spent on content,” CFO David Wells said at an investor conference in February. Netflix is now boosting marketing spending because “we think marketing is a multiplier on the content spend.”
Netflix made its first acquisition ever last summer, in a deal to buy comic-book publisher Millarworld. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Millarworld was founded by Scottish native Mark Millar, creator of characters and stories including Kingsman, Kick-Ass, and Old Man Logan.
Pictured above: A Netflix ad on a billboard in West Hollywood operated by Regency Outdoor, part of a campaign created by ad agency Battery